tv Up W Steve Kornacki MSNBC February 23, 2014 5:00am-7:01am PST
for everyone. there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. can chris christie's effort to investigate himself. the nation's governors are gathering in washington this weekend for the winter meeting of the national governors association. two governors among them both very familiar with scandal, with wisconsin's ask the walker has had a difficult week, facing questions about a newly released batch of e-mails, tens of thousands of pages of them actually, from an investigation into his first campaign. the way he apparently chose to handle that this weekend has
been to tell a reporter that investigation is over. but have you heard what's been happening to chris christie in new jersey? that investigation, he said, is, quote, just beginning. scott walker adding, quote, christie is not out of the woods yet. he's got the ledges gislature w is not on his side politically and they'll probably drag it out for some time. chris christie it seems is operating out of a different page of the playbook. reporting selfies aside he's been maintaining a low profile in washington this weekend. even though he currently heads the republican governor s association, for his 28 gop colleagues across the country. asked by reporters afterwards whether the bridge scanndal cam up in meetings yesterday, christie simply said, no, just by you guys. even if nonreporters aren't asking those questions to christie's face in washington, there are plenty of people inside and outside the beltway who are asking questions about the scandal surrounding christie. and some of them even work for him which is where we'll start
this morning, with the state of the investigation under way inside governor christie's office. as you may know there's already an internal probe happening at the port authority of new york and new jersey, a special joint legislative committee has been meeting and firing off subpoenas for a month now in the office of the u.s. attorney for new jersey poking around, too. as we mentioned those are not the only investigations that have been launched to get to the boug bottom of the scandals that have enveloped chris christie the past few months. there's also the governor's own investigation, the one he pledged to pursue during that f famous two had been hour press kvens after bridget kelly's infamous e-mail was released. >> i'm going to continue this process. i couldn't get it all done yesterday. and, as i said, if there's more information that i uncover, i'll act accordingly in thames of releasing it to the public and taking whatever action may be necessary, if any is, for any other ib use.
issues. and will react to any other information coming in. there's an investigation and a legislative investigation. >> and just days later there was some new incoming information to christie to deal with. it came on this show a little more than one week after that press conference when hoboken mayor dawn zimmer charged that one senior christie administration official, l lieutenant governor kim guadagno linked her level of sandy aid to a project represented by the law firm of one of christie's top political allies, david samson. and that another christie cabinet official, richard constable, head of the department of community affairs, had intimated a similar quid pro quo. now true to his word christie did hire outside counsel, randy mastro from gibson dunn. this is pricey representation. mastro was charging $650 an hour for his services. and mastro has been very public in conducting this internal
investigation for 0 christie. at least some of the time. this is the letter that he sent to mayor zimmer's lawyer on february 4. in it mastro states that the governor's office takes zimmer's allegations, quote, very seriously and requests a meeting to further our mandate from the governor's office to facilitate cooperation with the u.s. attorney's investigation and complete an internal review. in the letter mastro goes on to request a copy of the diary zimmer shared. and for other records that zimmer shared on our show. keep in mind, after appearing on our show zimmer turned over those and other documents to the u.s. attorney's office. so the response from zimmer's lawyer was swift and simple. quote, we question whether it is appropriate for the governor 80s office in essence to be investigating itself when an investigation of the same subject matter is being conducted by the u.s. attorney's office. mastro sent similar letters to two members of zimmer's
administration into two members of the hoboken city council who are politically aligned with her. and also requested in an interview with sokolich. sokolich also turned down the request but said he would be happy to testify before the state legislative panel that's looking into the closures. on top of this mastro's team also utilized the new jersey open public records act to request documents from officials in hoboken and ft. lee detailing interactions with members of the media. these tactics fed suspicions that mastro's team might have something else in mind besides just getting to the bottom of the stories. >> i think what their message is, they're trying to sort of threaten people. not explicitly but saying, you know, we're going to go back after you if you come back after us. >> as we thought about all of this this week, we were struck by something, why hasn't christie's legal team been this publicly aggressive in seeking
information of those accused by mayor zimmer or implicated in the lane shutdowns in ft. lee? so we sent an e-mail to randy mastro and asked him have he and his team requested all relevant documents from zimmer and constable, the two that were linked to sandy money it to to the development project. has mastro's team conducted intervaus with them, scheduled interviews with them? mastro wouldn't answer our questions directly and provided only this statement. quote, i will not comment on our internal review while it is being conducted other than to say we are, of course, reaching out to request interviews of those who have made allegations and others who may have information relevant to they will. we are communicating with investiga investigators consistent with our mandate to facilitate cooperation with those authorities. we've also noticed something else, it's been 36 days since mayor zimmer accused christie's hand-picked lieutenant governor of explicitly linking sandy aid
in that development project. quote, the word is you are against it, zimmer recalled, and you need to move it forward or we are not going to be able to help you. i know it's not right. these things should not be connected but they are. if you tell anyone i said that, i will deny it. that is what dawn zimmer recorded in her diary. that's what she told us that kim guadagno told her. >> mayor zimmer's version of our conversation in may of 2013 is not only false but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. any suggestion -- any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in
new jersey is completely false. >> and richard constable also accused by zimmer of leaking the development and sandy money, albeit in a less explicit way, also defended himself in a statement. quote, mayor zimmer's allegations are patently false and absurd on their face. i welcome a full and author 0 owe law enforcement review of her libellous claims. here is what we haven't heard. in the 36 days since dawn zimmer leveled her charges a simple emphatic public statement from the governor that he believes guadagno and has full confidence they are telling the absolute truth. christie has given a one-hour radio interview, tlifdelivered second inaugural address and held court in chicago. he hosted a town hall meeting. on none of these occasions, though, has he chosen to vouch for the character of his two embattled appointees. we asked the press office about
this and they sent us this on friday. quote, the governor stands by both the lieutenant governor and commissioner constable. we pointed out to that spokesman that that was not a first person statement. these were not christie's words about guadagno and constable but the words of his press office 0. would he provide a personal statement about them that specifically addresses zimmer's charges. that's what we asked. the statement speaks for itself is what we were told and for us to interpret it any other way would be a false narrative. that's what we were told. there's plenty of room for interpretation here. we remembered one other thing this week, not that long ago another top christie appointee was under fire and facing accusations of unethical behavior, the governor had no problem rushing to his defense publ publicly and vouching for his integrity and character. this is what chris christie said about bill baroni. >> i commend baroni for his service there. i know how hard that job is.
he worked hard at it. so did mr. wildstein. it's unfortunate for them that a mistake got made near the end of their tenure. but it's just the way life works sometimes. >> compared to that he's barely offered guadagno on constable anything. maybe we're reading too much into this. it seems possible as more and more revelations emerge, christie is a lot more hesitant to go to bat for his s subordinates and a lot less confident they'll be vindicated in the end. talk about all of this, i want to bring in democratic state senator linda greenstein of new jersey, charlie style with the bergen record. so, bob, i'll start with you. we had this little back and forth at the governor's office this week. it seemed -- i was thinking of past circumstances where political allies where one politician's ally is embattled and you sort of expect the public statement of full
confidence, total support, all of this. am i reading too much or has that been noticeably absent? >> noticeably absent. so as his relationship with the press has changed since that two-hour marathon press conference down it in washington, reporters were chasing him and asking him questions and even got testy with a very short answer. he's not talking. in this case he hasn't even issued a statement directly from him as you point out. you would as expect at least that much. we're not getting that much let alone the christie style of walking out in front of the press and taking all their questions and follow-up questions. it's a whole different ball game the. >> it really feels like, toe me, he's being careful here. he doesn't want to be on film saying something emfphatically that the investigation goes one way and comes back to haunt him for the next five years. >> let's look at the time line, january 9, he was still calling
his own shots. he wasn't under any gag order from $650 an hour attorney, he was still his own universe. to what role that lawyer is has that kind of control over christie is the subject of debate. now he is parsing his statement, has that sense of being scrubbed for any potential backlash or problems as this investigation goes forward. i also want to say what bob says, note that had christie is not talking to reporters. it should be worth noting that christie never talks to reporters unless he decides he wants to talk to reporters. him dodging reporters in washington really is not all that out of the norm. >> but he has seemed less eager to talk to reporters. >> oh, yes.
>> in the last -- >> there's been a series of, you know, snappish backhands from christie over the past couple of days. so, yeah, he's certainly kind of extended the bunker outward as he goes. it's like a christie protection zone as he walks down the hallway of the state house. >> be and, senator, you're on the joint legislative committee that's looking into all of this. in the response to this request from christie's lawyer for documents and for a personal interview, dawn zimmer's lawyer said that he thought it was inappropriate for the governor's office to be conducting this kind of investigation. do you share that view? do you think -- are there any ways specifically that you can point to where what the governor's office is doing is getting in the way of what you're trying to do or can these things co-exist? >> i think they can co-exist because there are so many investigations going on right now but personally i think i can understand why people would be concerned. i think there's sort of a
strong-arming quality to what the lawyer is doing, mastro, in terms of the investigation. if you get a letter like that, you're not clear on what his role is. i mean, is he representing the governor? what type of an investigation is he conducting? so i will just say legally there would be some questions about it. but i don't think it stands in the way of the legislative investigation. >> and we did have it shall one of your republican colleagues was on the show yesterday and made an interesting point. we have randy mastro requesting this meeting from mayor sokolich in ft. lee, requesting documents and mayor sokolich saying, no, i would be happy to meet with the legislative committee but i don't think this is appropriate. and your colleague pointed out yesterday, mayor sokolich hasn't been subpoenaed by the joint committee. they haven't invited him to testify. that does seem a little strange. isn't he somebody you would want to be talking to? >> i'm not sure if that subpoena has gone out yet or not. there could be one.
i'm not positive of that. and, he yes, he would be somebody we would want to talk to, i'm quite sure. but these are going out in a piecemeal way and i imagine later on that's going to happen. obviously we haven't taken any testimony from anybody yet. but, what is it, 40 subpoenas, close to it have gone out. >> a couple dozen subpoenas. how do you look at this nationally, chris christie in washington yesterday, we had him in chicago last week, there was texas, there was florida. his people like to put out the idea that, wow, the rga is raising all this money. he's really not saying much as he travels around the country the then you get that little scott walker twisting the knife yesterday. this seems to be haunting him a little bit as he travels the country. >> it is, i think. he's playing this close to his vest and is being cautious. he knows anything he says will be its own story. so he's being careful in the way he talks to reporters, trying to lay low and hoping on some level that it goes away.
with regard to requests from the ft. lee mayor and mayor zimmer, there's a deeper message. if you come in my cross hairs, i'm not going to take it lying down and i'm coming after you, too. as far as this investigation goes, there are two very important dimensions to it. the one is the simple legal question, did he break the law or did he not? whatever the case is there, we don't know yet. whatever happens there, the allegations and the story is damaging to him. we see it in the poll numbers. the 2016 election numbers are ten months away. i'm clear this guy here is not. >> invisible primary we're talking about and that was a clear shot. we have to squeeze a break in he here. charlie wrote an interesting column about how christie's words are being perceived and measured. we'll talk about that when we come back.
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the governor's relationship with facts. false claims and inaccuracies sometimes padded christie's speeches or monologues as he rows to national fame. it caused much embarrassment. the public embraced his bold, big public views than quibble with the details. now his career are in the shadow of a scandal. and, charlie, this kind of picks up on what we were talk iing abt at the end of the last block, this really is -- there's the whole legal question here that everybody is looking at. everybody is looking at that january 9 press conference where where he talked for two hours, was he being completely and totally straight with the public. this does not seem like an occasion they will accept his bold, big picture view. >> this is a line in the sand
declaration, putting all his career on 32 black on a roulette wheel. everything depends on it. that's why i think -- and i think it has worked with some people. they say he has to be telling the truth if he's going to stand in front of c it nn and msnbc and the world and make that declaration. so it's, you know -- it is a marker. and he so i think people are going to be basically scrubbing every word of that as this this thing goes forward. >> and what i was thinking while he was giving the speech january 9, and i said this a few times before, the confidence he was showing, that he was exhibiting, bob, you've seen this up close. he's been that adamant before that something is so and it hasn't been. >> right. there was the case of the former education commissioner who he
accused of lying and turned out that he actually hadn't lied about it and was quite upset that he was accused nationally and public ly for that and they came back and there was another case involving the assembly speaker where she was accused of lying and it turned out that wasn't the case. is he able to convince himself that any story is true and that -- the thing with lbj he could tell these detailed stories about his time at war that were totally and completely false, probably pass a lie detector test and you wonder when i watched christie a few years ago, does he have some of that in him? >> personally i just don't think so. i think that he's used to connecting with the public very well and especially up to that point of the big press conference in january. and i think that he expects
people to believe what he's going to say. i'm not the saying he's sitting and planning this but i think he tries to craft an entire big picture. i'm not sure he believes all of it himself but he might believe some of it. >> he's convincing. he's convincing when he speaks that way and that's what people like about him. the trouble that he's having, this whole investigation and this whole scanndal of wrongdoig in his administration turns one of his greatest strengths into a weakness, being brash and bold and going after people. now his constituents are wondering if he's doing that. if he's using his power that way. >> it is true, maybe you view this, why was it that he was able to skate so much in the past when people -- you point in your column on a number of occasions and you're right, people saw the big picture and the details. what's changed that makes them care so much about this one? >> well, this one i think in the past when he came into office he had this kind of mandate that he
was going to change and he had this instant credibility. he was the ex-prosecutor who put away a lot of bad guys. he spoke directly and in contrast to his predecessor who no one could really understand. he was being clear. he was being bold. the pension reform, whether you like it or loathe it, it was a significant accomplishment. the same thing with the property tax. he seemed to be moving in the right direction. you know, that was all debatable. this, i think, what changed with this, this affected the ordinary person. every new jerseyan has war stories about being jammed on the parkway. this wept right to their dna as new jerseyans. >> the scandal you can understand. >> it's really hard to think that that thing was as bad as it
was and he found out about it weeks later when he read about it in the newspaper. that is just really hard to -- i had dinner with a guy who does traffic for radio. and he knows all the back roads. he knows traffic history. he knows everything about traffic. and i said to him, you know, what was this? was it like five times as worse or ten times as worse? he said, bob, it was 80 times worse than what the traffic really is. so how could you not . >> the simplicity and pettiness of the scandal is what makes it so easy to understand and digest for people. i want to get into the question, too, whether this has changed chris christie public ly and privately in terms of how he deals with people in trenton, how his staff views people. we're going to ask them about it when we come back. did i tell you i am on the... [ both ] chicken pot pie diet! me too! [ male announcer ] so indulgent, you'll never believe they're light.
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journal", one who has been all over this along with his co-worker. governor christie had said to his colleague heather hadden you and your paper will owe an apology to mr. baroni and wildstein. this was before all the wildstein e-mails came out, but that was captured how sort of brash and confident christie was about this whole scandal right up until those wildstein e-mails came out. i wonder when you look at how he's behaved publicly since then, the town hall meeting this week, we're talking about how he's not rushed to kim guadagno's defense publicly, has this -- do you think this has changed him in any way? he censors himself. is it a temporary thing? >> i think the essential person is still the same. i think be everybody is careful when you know there's a u.s.
attorneys investigation. but i think he has changed in terms of his public image, much more cautious. not working as a team with his staff but pretty much firing people left and right. this is what's going on and it's really a different man than we saw before. i think he thought that the brashness could get him through this. it could mean he didn't know as much as we think. i don't know. i think he thought his personality would would get him through it as it has so many times before. and obviously when things began to go bad, they happened very quickly. it all happened quickly. i think he's somewhat shocked by it, also. >> and nationally, sahil, it might be the whole selling point of s chris christie is the guy o is traveling the country, avoiding the press, a little bit of the old christie was there at that town hall we saw this week but if you take that element away from him he's just any
other republican. albeit one with a scandal. >> this is the reason he got re-elected with 60% of the vote in a very democratic state. this is a huge part of his appeal, his cross partisan appeal that other republican governors don't share. let's see if he can salvage it. i don't he know. we'll see how this investigation goes. but i think one thing that could potenti potentially save him is if this goes on for a really long time and his opponents are seen as overreaching which makes me wonder a question for the senator here, this investigation that you're helping lead, what would you like to see? what sorts of evidence, all the moving parts, what sorts of evidence and conclusive sort of thing would you like before you can decide that? >> right now, of course, we're focusing on bridge gate. most of the subpoenas have to do with that topic and those have been made public. i think what we want to do is figure out the big turning point, of course, was bridget kelly's statement. there will be traffic problems
in ft. lee. we're kind of investigating that. i feel that's what we're looking at and we're doing this methodically, somewhat slowly, because you almost have to with subpoenas. we're waiting to see what comes in. it is coming in gradually. there is the court case right now that's also been made public trying to compel kelly and stepien because they are two of the most important, and i think once everything is in that we think we're going to get, once we've exhausted the courts on this, i think we'll begin to question people and try to find out the answer to what happened. >> and just to be clear, because the hoboken allegations, the allegations from mayor zimmer, are a separate thing, you are content to leave to the u.s. attorney's office. >> everybody is probably, a although no one is saying it, is waiting for the u.s. attorney's office to see what they do. that could change the direction of things. but right at the moment we've decided to focus on that area because we think they're focusing more on the other
areas. >> one other thing, charlie, from a reporter's standpoint, the administration known for having a press shop that's probably about as aggressive as the governor himself, what is your view of the state of the a administration right now? is it functioning as it was a couple months ago? is it in chaos? are they -- what is your view of how life is like inside the governor's office? >> i don't know about chaos. i think they're definitely in it damage control mode and they are very circumspect, cautious about everythi everything. and i think they're hoping on tuesday there will be the big budget address and that they can turn the narrative around, put the discussion more on the state's fiscal faw tour and kind of hope that there is a little bit of bridge gate fatigue they can feed off of and there will be a vacuum in which the budget will be discussed.
but i do feel that they are in this kind of damage control mode. what they say is almost very, very limited. it was always limited to begin with and now it's -- sometimes it's easier to get -- i would imagine it's easier to get information out of the poll it borrow at times. >> will the state legislative committees have to look at one of its own members? we're going to explain and ask that question after this. e, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. [ m'm... ] great taste. [ tapping ] sounds good. campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good.®
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own members? that's the possibility that's raised by the presence on the committee of this republican state senator kevin o'toole. if you're not from nblg emergency you probably haven't heard of him. let me tell you a quick story about kevin o'toole and the port authority. the agency at the epicenter of the lane closures. the heart of kevin o'toole's state senate is in passaic county, a democratic friendly county in north jersey. for a decade the sheriff of passaic county was a democrat named jerry, a popular democrat who won by big margins, lots of campaign cash. in 2010 he was up for re-election, which anybody in passaic politics will tell you republicans were uneasy about. not only did they know they would lez to spezio but they felt he would drag down the rest of their ticket, too. it was common knowledge that he liked being sheriff, liked law enforcement, but was tired of running for re-election every
few years. he wanted a new job but not just any new job. that's where kevin o'toole came in. as "the bergen record" reported he helped him get a meeting with governor christie and, just like that, spezio became the first deputy superintendent of the port authority of new jersey everything speziale could have wanted. he no longer had to worry about the voters and it was everything republicans in passaic county would have wanted and more because speziale and the half million dollars need his war chest would go to charity, none to his fellow democrats. o'toole is very close to christie. he has extensive contacts with democrats and a knack for cutting mutually beneficial deals with them. he also has close ties to the port authority, the agency in the thick of the bridge scandal. jerry speziale isn't the only one at the port. his former chief of staff landed
there as director of newport initiatives and republican sources say that o'toole may have had a hand along with bill baroni in convincing the christie administration to create a new job at the port for david wildstein, the man who would go on to oversee the bridge lane closures. and now o'toole's name is coming up in this investigation. first, in an e-mail included in the record subpoenaed by the legislative committee from wildstein. it was an e-mail from wildstein to michael drewniak on december 5, the morning after they had dinner together in the days before wildstein's departure from the port. quoting from the e-mail a, thanks again for all your sound advice last night. i always appreciate your friendship. what wildstein wrote to drewniak. and he added, spoke with o'toole this morning, and he will talk with you later today. then it was revealed this past week by the ber again record that wildstein had redacted a reference to o'toole in the same batch of documents. this was from a text exchange between wildstein and bill
baroni. again, bill baroni is one of the other point men at the port just after baroni's testimony last november before the state assembly transportation committee. it was in that testimony that baroni insisted not under oath that the closures had been part of a traffic test and adamantly maintained the access lanes in ft. lee had been closed represented some kind of unfair perk for that town. both claims have since been discredited by lack numbers. in his exchange baroni followed the testimony we learned this week from those documents obtained by the record, wildstein wrote, quote, o'toole's statement ready. and sure enough the next morning an op-ed from o'toole ran in "the bergen record" slamming them as an attempt and attack ft. lee for that supposed sweetheart deal it had with the access lanes. baroni's testimony, the
testimony that o'toole defended apparently in coordination with wildstein, is now regarded as a joke and the vindictive nature of the lane closures revealed. this led "the star ledger" to call for o'toole to leave the committee. he may have been coordinating with two christie appointees he believed were giving him the straight scoop, and that is no crime and would be wildly unfair to assume o'toole was part of the covery. he may not have realized the story was false. the committee should find out and that means it needs to question o'toole under oath. how did he come to play this rel as baroni's cheerleader? was he recruited by someone in the governor's office? did baroni or wildstein tell him their story was false? since the news of the redacted text message broke, o'toole has not yet responded to requests for comment on the story. we are back to discuss this
wrinkle, this twist with our panel and, bob, i know this is something you are writing about, too, the role of kevin o'toole on this committee. the you say he should step aside. >> i do. and even giving him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he didn't know about it, if he stays on there, the republicans are not going to have any credibility. today, sunday, the republicans need to ask him to stand down for the good of the committee. >> well, senator greenstein, do you think he should step aside? >> because i'm not in the press, i will be a little more center on this. i'm going to say i'm not surprised to see kevin o'toole on the committee. he is very close with the governor. i served with him on the budget committee and other xhaes, and he is frequently placed on important committees. a bright guy. i do think he was appointed by senator cain, the minority leader, and i think that one wonders exactly why that happened under these
circumstances. we also don't know if he did anythi anything. we're not sure. will we have to question him? my guess is, yes, at some point. i'm going to assume that will come up because his name has come up. i think ultimately he needs to think about this and make the decision. >> is it something you, even informally, something members of the committee, senators in trenton, have been talking about like, gee, what is he doing on this committee? has he talked about it with anybody to your knowledge, sort of not on the record, but has he talked to any colleagues? >> i don't know who he is talking to. i haven't heard my colleagues specifically talk about this other than perhaps on these shows, i have heard a few mention it and say chances are we would have to end up questioning him. it would be very awkward if he were on the committee, i suppose. we have no idea -- certainly there's no evidence at this point that he's done anything wrong. but i think he needs to think about this and decide if he thinks that's a place for him to be. >> and, charlie, the other
question, and, bob, why was he on -- why was he put on this committee in the first place? there's an interesting back story here maybe you could tell people a little bit about it where tom cain jr., the republican leader in the state senate in new jersey. and right after last november's election, chris christie and kevin o'toole basically teamed up to try to oust tom cain as the leader and they failed. and then tom cain appointed kevin o'toole to this committee. what am i missing here? how did this all happen? >> those are good questions. also you have the democratic -- i mean, the decision had to involve the senate president, democratic senate president sweeney and john wisniewski, the leader on the assembly side and sweeney has had a close collaborative relationship with the governor as well. so there's all that kind of
questions hanging over this as well. also, it's also kevin o'toole was chris christie's point man in the supreme court nominations. he led the governor's charge to defend his nominees, so they are very close, and it does raise the question or at least the perception that if he's on the committee and he's privy to internal documents, internal deliberations, would he then be sharing it with the governor's office as they prepare their legal defense, things that before the committee has even gone public with? that's a perception, a question that kind of hangs out there. >> but the perception counts for a the lot here. now that this is out, now that we know about the memo, when the statement went out to the press involving all of this, the perception is really important. whatever really happened? this committee can't afford to have people think it's rigged. they've got to believe that it's really doing what it says it's doing investigating. and you can't investigate yourself. >> and you start to think even
from the christie standpoint, at this point if you're hoping to get exonerated by this committee, it's a lot easier for the result to be taken seriously if it's not close to anyone on the committee. we have a few minutes left, some final thoughts when we come back. ♪ ♪ ♪ we still run into problems. that's why liberty mutual insurance offers accident forgiveness if you qualify, and new car replacement, standard with our auto policies. so call liberty mutual at... today.
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i want to pick up on a point on o'toole. we started to get into it with the introduction. o'toole symbolizes when you talk about the deal he cut to get the democratic sheriff for the port authority. the way this administration has defined itself is by cutting deals with powerful democrats in the state and there's a great piece that got into this, but this is sort of part of this whole story of the christie administration is christie has cut lots of deals with democratic bosses in the state that have disarmed him and so as this proceeds and as his governorship proceeds, people look at this from outside new jersey might be confused. if you peel it back a layer or two, there are people helping out christie and cheering for
chr christie you wouldn't expect. >> well, welcome to the state. that's the way we do business here, as you very well know. he got a the lot of credit across the country for being able to work with people on the other side of the aisle. now what people in the other parts of the country don't know is that there are some very powerful democrats that you can cut deals with and that happens. >> it's the only way to do it in the state. he project this had image of this -- and you are talking about this bipartisan comedy and the reality is that you cannot -- and christie has been pretty clear about this. you can't get things done without dealing with the machinery. >> burn up political capital, though. that's my question, we talk about how christie has gotten many things done. he's accomplished a lot. that's one of the reasons conservatives really like him is getting a lot done in a blue state. but this whole investigation and
everything he is dealing with now, does this harm his political capital to continue working with democrats? s to this make democrats less likely to make deals with him? >> yeah, well, i think there's going to be a lot of scrutiny from -- i think so, yes, because of the optics of it and also i think now you're going to see more of this upwelling from the more liberal small d-ranks in the state. >> on election night when barbara brono, how much of the attitude in the democratic party has changed since then and what is that translating into? >> the part of it i know is certainly you have to work with him to get certain bills passed. the leadership really had to work together with him. i think what he did, the
governor did, is parlayed that little bit of work with some of the democrats the into something much bigger. he certainly used that politically to seem he's the only republican who could work with democrats, and i think he got to know them and, frankly, almost cared more about the democrats during the election season than he did the republicans. >> and that gets to the whole point of kevin o'toole and chris christie teaming up to try to take out tom cain's son as the party leader. and his supposed mentor. the republicans in the state senate said no to that because chris christie got the re-elected with 60% of the vote. a republican had not run up numbers lake that in new jersey since tom cain. and guess how many senate seats they gained at the same time? zero. one thing i've picked up on, i haven't heard many saying this public publicly but privately i've heard from a number of republicans in trenton and new jersey politics who feel chris christie really kind of threw them under the bus last year in that re-election campaign. it was all about scoring points and the not about helping them.
>> mitt romney. >> yeah, mitt romney might say the same thing. i want to thank my guests. charlie stile, state senator linda greensteen, and bob ingle, thank you all. how republicans are taking down a former old best friend. that story is next. this...is jane. her long day on set starts with shoulder pain... ...and a choice take 6 tylenol in a day which is 2 aleve for... ...all day relief. hmm. [bell ring] "roll sound!" "action!" this is the creamy chicken corn chowder. i mean, look at it. so indulgent. did i tell you i am on the... [ both ] chicken pot pie diet! me too! [ male announcer ] so indulgent, you'll never believe they're light. 100-calorie progresso light soups.
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and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. in a clinical study, over 80% of treated men had their t levels restored to normal. talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. androgel 1.62%. and thursday night president obama gave advice to those gathered in washington, d.c. we know how to win national elections, he said, all too often it's during the midterms we get ourselves into trouble because i guess we don't think it's sexy enough. the fact of the matter is that's where so much of the action is. there's another prominent democrat who shares obama's view. tuesday former president bill clinton will be back on the campaign trail stumping in kentucky for senate hopeful grimes. there's a real race in
mcconnell's bid for election. grimes is up four points. clinton on the ground campaigning could give her an additional boost. clinton was the last democrat to carry kentucky in a presidential election and also arkansas and georgia and louisiana and montana and west virginia. all of them critical battlegrounds in the fight for control of the senate this year and all of them red states that clinton carried at least once in the 1990s. so it's quite possible we'll be seeing the 42nd president pop up in other states, too, this year. and this could be a big problem for republicans. and if it is, it's a problem that they cruiserweight ed for themselves. since more than anyone else, they're the ones who have helped to create the former president's current cross party popularity. this is a relatively recent change from what had been the rule the first 15 or so years clinton was on the national political stage. recently as 2006 fox news was aggressively challenging whether clinton as president had done enough to thwart 9/11 based on
the findings of the commission report. >> if you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this. i had battle plans drawn to go into afghanistan, overthrow the taliban and launch a full-scale attack and search for bin laden. but, we needed basing rights in uzbekistan, which we got. the cia refused to certify that bin laden was responsible. all i'm asking is anybody -- you read richard clarke it shall. >> do you think you did enough, sir? >> no, because i didn't get him. at least i tried. that's the difference between me and some including those attacking me now. they ridicule me for trying. >> it wasn't just fox. it was basically the entire conservative opinion shaping apparatus which launched a relentless effort to tear down
bill clinton the moment he became the democratic presidential nominee in 1992 and continue that effort almost seamlessly until early 2008 when something funny happened. when barack obama won the democratic nomination for president. for years the right had assumed it was fighting a clinton restoration but now, all of a sudden, it had a new enemy in chief. almost overnight the war on bill clinton, the war on both clintons, really, was called off with obama suddenly the new face of the national democratic party, the right needed a foil, somebody to hold up next to obama to argue how extreme and uncooperative the new potential president was by comparison. and that person, that foil was bill clinton. they praeeviously cast him as a corrupt, even dangerous president, so far they even impeached, they began recasting clinton as a channmp ion of the middle class, a symbol of a bygone era when they produced leaders who were ready to
compromise. after obama won the white house, it only intensified. to the right bill clinton became the good democratic president, a reference point they returned to over and over to paint barack obama as the same kind of dangerous radical they had once painted clinton as. a perfect example on the eve of bill clinton's address to the democratic national convention in 2012 when the chairman of the republican national committee said this on national television. >> the problem that obama has with bill clinton is that obama is not your daddy's democrat. he's not a mainstream democrat like bill clinton. bill clinton worked with both sides of the aisle. bill clinton was able to get some things done. >> statements like that during the last five years helped to e depolarize bill clinton with republicans suddenly free to join democrats in praising him. he became one of the only national political figures left who is respected by both sides of the increasingly polarized electorate. the morning of the big dnc
speech even "the wall street journal" gushed about the big dog in an editorial aimed at making obama look radical by comparison. it's a good moment to remind everyone about the real economic history of the clinton years and why the results differ so much from those of obama-nomics. remember triangulation? he embraced balanced budget using it it to outmaneuver newt gingrich over a government shutdown. that's the kind of talk that explains this. bill clinton's favorability has been steadily increasing since mid-2008, staggering 70%. >> if we had a clinton presid t presidency, if we had erskine bowles, chief of staff of the white house or president of the white house, we would have fix this had mess by now. that's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now. >> the republicans put bill clinton on a pedestal in an effort to tear down obama and now they find themselves in a bind. their praise made him an unusually campaign trail
advocate and now poised to hit the trail again for the midterms. maybe you've heard the rumbles that hillary clinton might run for president in 2016. so what's the right to do? we may be starting to see it. last week the conservative website the washington freebee con published journal entries from the 1990s kept by a close confidant of the clintons. diane blair had with hillary clinton about the monica lewinsky affair, sexual assault made by other women. so this week kathleen willey who accused bill clinton of sexual assault on "60 minutes" in 1998 was back on tv attacking bill and hillary clinton. >> we're talking about the president of the united states and what he did, lack of judgment. he dishonored the office. he dishonored the presidency. and she just stood by and watched. >> rand paul, who wants his party's nomination for president in 2016 has been especially vocal about bill clinton's past in recent weeks. he's using these attacks in an attempt to undercut clinton's
fund-raising ability. >> democrats can't say, we're the great defenders of women's rights in the work place and we will defend you against some kind of abusive boss that uses their position of authority to take advantage of a young woman when the leader of their party, the leading fund-raiser in the country is bill clinton who was a perpetrator of that kind of sexual harassment. anybody who wants to take money from bill clinton or have a fund-raiser has a lot of explaining to do. in fact, i think they should give the money back. >> soap the question is, can the republican strategy work? the controversies two decades old resonate? some weren't even born back then. can they find another way to undo the incredible assistance they provided or is it too late? here to discuss this we've robert george, an editorial writer at the "new york post," victoria defrancesco, a fellow with the university of texas, communications director for the
pr pro-hillary clinton group correct the record, and msnbc contributor perry bacon jr. the political editor for thegrio.com. the resonant conservative on the panel here, are conservatives just waking up right now and saying to themselves we made a mistake the last five years in how we treated bill clinton, and we have to correct it now before it comes back to launt us in 2014 and 2016? >> i don't think that's quite the way the conversation is going. a lot of this is the political tactics of the moment because the did democrats to this thing because you have this language of ronald reagan wouldn't recognize the republican party today. he was the person who managed to work across sides. that's going on all of the time. what i think is going to happen now moving forward as people start to move away from the obama years and start focusing on the idea of another prospective clinton administration, you are going to
start seeing a harsher attack on the clinton years and on hillary. i think it's, in a sense, kind of natural. do they regret some of the gushing rhetoric? priebus may want to dial back some things. and, look, i don't think the electorate is necessarily going to remember what someone said a few years ago about bill clinton. there is a lot of stuff, though, on a policy basis and a political basis that people could use to attack hillary. i don't mean the sex stuff. there's a lot of l solid politician decisions, policy decision decisions that went on in the clinton years that could come back to bite hillary. >> but it's so -- >> if she runs. if she runs, right. it's so striking to me. to me the time frame is a little more -- you talk about democrats and reagan and there are some differences there. one difference is more trunca
truncated. you had the bush presidency, the obama presidency and now talk about clinton running again, being back on the scene. i listen to how republicans have talked about bill clinton the last five years and i think, for instance, this is how republicans talked when he was president, jesse helms in 1994. >> conservative republican senator jesse helms said he made a mistake when he suggested that president clinton better have a bodyguard if he travels to north carolina. but the white house officials think republicans should take a hard look at helms and whether he should head the senate foreign relations committee. the secret service has asked for a transcript of the senator's remar remarks. >> i mean, i think we forget, we talk about maybe republicans going back to the 1990s playbook. we talk about how republicans have talked about bill clinton in the last five years. we tend to forget what the 1990s were really like politically. that's just a small taste of how republicans really treated bill clinton back thrown.
>> it was incredibly acrimonious. this is why weigh see folks like rand paul coming out and trying to rile up the base in bringing up old accusations about bill clinton because it's red meat for that republican base. you have democrats who love the clintons and will always have that love for the clintons. you have independents who maybe had a little bit of that amnesia. they thought, well, i wasn't too hot on clinton but he's a good guy. and the republicans are not hurting them in that respect. ultimately there is a base that can be pumped up and they will be work iing on that. what is most dangerous to the clintons aren't the accusations against bill but kathleen wiley's interview, she goes against hillary. she doesn't attack bill clinton for his infidelity. she attacks hillary clinton for going after the women that accuse bill clinton. i think that's more dangerous. >> that popped up, the aspect of calling monica lewinsky a nut ball. >> it popped up in the 'nants
and it wasn't enough to take bill clinton down in the 1990s. the impeachment was an unpopular thing. >> that's all they need. this is the rand paul, the washington community, fox news. you've already seen mitt romney and karl rove, the establishment of the party saying let's be careful about this. let's talk about hillary clinton. let's talk about benghazi. let's not talk about monica lewins lewinsky. the party will figure out hillary is probably running, how to we attack her? rand paul is going in one direction. it will be curious which one ends up being the find threat. >> the other question raise there had is, okay yes, maybe the entirety of the party doesn't want to go back to the '90s and talk iing about sexual harassment but they -- there's a recognition that, hey, hillary clinton's spouse now has a 0% approval rating, something they've never had to deal with. you think back to 2012 and how effective bill clinton was at that convention.
are there other ways -- you have to assume the people like karl rove are saying we're not going to talk about the 1990s but we have to do something about bill clinton, right? >> so far the people running in kentucky are mark prior in arkansas. they think they have a great villain whose name is barack obama. they're not the that worried -- i think the case against hillary clinton in 2016 will not be about the third term of barack obama. that's where they're heading. the republicans are not super worried about bill clinton coming to kentucky and reversing the fact that obama has a 30% approval rating there. that's what their focus is. mitch mcconnell will not bring up bill clinton throughout. if i were him i would ignore the whole visit and focus on obama care be and the things they are campaigning against. >> i couldn't agree more. >> what do you make of it, adrienne? watching you come from arkansas, you've seen sort of the rise of the clintons on the national stage. to me it's been jarring the last five years to remember the 1990s and to see how bill clinton is talked about and to hear how he
is talked about now by republicans. >> i completely agree and, look, i love vanilla ice, and scrunchies. the '90s were great for many of us. they're choosing to target the '90s and the events that happened because they don't want to attack them on their record because they have a strong record of accomplishments. >> perry started to tease it. we'll take a quick break and get into it. but there is the question of 2014 and the impact bill clinton could potentially have. i know republicans want to only run against obama, but i expect we'll see clinton out there. interesting the red states up for grabs. we'll talk about those when we come back. a new catalytic converter when all you got is a loose gas cap. what? it is that simple sometimes. thanks. now let's take this puppy over to midas and get you some of the good 'ol midas touch. hey you know what? i'll drive! and i have no feet... i really didn't think this through. trust the midas touch.
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around him? >> oh, he loves it. >> in terms of just a guy casual exchange conversation, what is that? >> if you get into a serious conversation about an issue that he cares about, absolutely he can be quite serious. he loves to play cards. >> hearts, old hearts? >> oh, yeah. >> i think somewhere along the way he must have taken a bill that says, i don't go to bed until there's no one left to talk to. >> kevin spacey playing the role of bill clinton monday on "late show." former president will be campaigning this week and for the 2014 senate race in kentucky. rob, a point perry was making the last block about the republicans clearly, yes, want to make 2014 all about obama. they want to make it all about obama care. they want to sort of re-create 2010 the best they can and you look at these where control of the senate will be decided, looking at red states, georgia,
m montana, louisiana, kentucky, places like this. i guess my question is, they've sort of -- their message has been there's two kinds of democrats. there's your bill clinton democrats who we lake to work with and we wish the democratic party was more like and then there's the barack obama democrats you never want to vote for and all of this. does this create an opportunity for democratic candidates like grimes in these red states to basically have bill clinton come in and campaign with him and say implicitly i'm one of these bill clinton democrats you can vote for? >> i think they're going to try to do that but in this atmosphere where you're going to be having all of these ads not just from whoever the republican nominees in the states but from americans for prosperity and all of these other outside organizations that are going to be linking these folks with barack obama not with bill clinton. i mean, they're going to try and obviously use clinton to try and inoculate them. i think it will be -- they're going to basically say who are you standing with?
you technically may be literally standing next to bill clinton but do you support this aspect of obama care? do you support the dragging job figure figures that we've had over the last few years? that's the real tough thing that red state democrats, particularly those running for re-election like mark prayer. >> it's tough to figure out the effect someone not on the ballot might have on a campaign. i look back at 2012. a lot of the economic fundamentals explain why he won and on his own we're in this flawless campaign. but how much of a role do you think, if any role, did bill clinton play with his convention speech last year? do you think he was a significant factor in obama's victory? >> i think it was in terms of mobilization. i think not so much in terms of persuasion. if you were dead set against barack obama there was nothing bill clinton was going to say to change your mind but it pumped up that base. i wanted to build off something robert said which is in terms of
clinton going into these races in 2014 in the south there's another component which is a cultural affinity that not only can they point to, hey, bill clinton was a good democrat, look at the '90s. look at the economics of the '90s, but there's something about that sweet southern draw that brings people in and that, again, pumps up that base, what we saw with the convention speech. >> i think there's actually something that republicans have to kind of keep an eye be on going into actually 2016 if hillary is the nominee because they've been focusing on the problem with minority voters and things like that. hillary, along with bill, has an ability to reach out to sort of the white working class in a way that barack obama never did and that's something that the republicans can't ignore. >> this is something i've read, a "new york times" article about arkansas. arkansas like every other southern state has been trending from a traditionally democratic state to a republican bastion
about bill clinton being really personally invested in trying to reverse that tide both in 2014 and potentially 2016. do you get the sense that is sort of a mission of his? arkansas in the south contributing to making another stand there for tdemocrats. is that important and can he pull it off? >> i think that based on history and the amount of time that he has spent campaigning for democrats in the midwest and the south it is clear he is very invested in that area. and just as victorias was saying, he is -- he does connect with the middle class voters. he connects with southerners. he can speak to them in a way that i think not many other candidates can. and obviously his approval ratings are out of the roof amongst independent voters and democrats and actually republicans as well. so if history is any, you know, gives anything on this, i think he will play a large role in the southern races. >> i know the grimes campaign
wants to make this about the minimum wage and these economic issues. they think he is a great messenger for that particular campaign and what they want to it use him for. >> yeah, and that's interesting, too. when we get to the contrast between barack obama and bill clinton and republican message, wow, it was totally different in the clinton years, i remember him running for president in 1992 saying the rich had gotten richer in the reagan/bush years. what we needed to do was raise taxes on the wealthiest americans. the same message president obama has pushed. bill clinton is talking about economic inequality and barack obama is talking about it now. the republicans see two different presidents. >> one striking thing that mark prior said in "the new york times" a few weeks ago, even he, mark prior, in arkansas where bill clinton said i'm a little nervous that some people have forgotten bill clinton. it's been a long time. he was on the ballot in 199 as a whole group of voters not on the
ballot. i couldn't vote myself, to be honest. how long does the bill clinton legacy remain in kentucky? >> a especially since he set up shop in new york. >> and, also, something i think that's going on in both parties as well is that the economic kind of bipartisan deal make that go went on in the 1990s, it's less favorable now. there's a feeling that there was a little bit too much collusion with wall street and so forth and you are seeing that with the rise of progressive politicians. but even republicans wonder if things like repealing glass steagall may have led to the 2008 crash. so some of that lyclinton polits i'm wondering whether even that's going to be favorable even within democratic circles going forward. >> there's that but some things don't change, too. the first clinton budget got through, the one that raised taxes on the rich. not a single republican in the
house or the senate voted for that. it got through al gore's tiebreaking vote. >> and chelsea's mother-in-law was the deciding vote. >> yes. she was a guest on this show on the 20th anniversary of that vote. we are the only show that would celebrate 209th and veniversary the show. i want to thank adrienne, perry bacon jr. and robert george. coming up, the show that i said i loved to hate, maybe i'm changing my mind a little bit. couldn't spop binge watching this weekend. one of the stars will join us straight ahead. ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪ ♪ turn around, barry ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ [ female announcer ] fiber one. ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ my dad has aor afib.brillation, he has the most common kind... ...it's not caused by a heart valve problem. dad, it says your afib puts you at 5 times greater risk of a stroke.
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i never make such big decisions so long after sunset and so far from dawn. it's still going to come up. >> power is a lot like real estate. location, location, location. >> those were actual lines read by actual members of congress. that's the closest to reality. it's supposed to be like watching ground hog day or back to the future or lost. suspend your disbelief and enjoy it. you know i have some trouble doing that but there's a new season out. viewers are binge watching it and maybe i've changed my mind. the phenomenon of the show, of netflix. [ male announcer ] covergirl presents
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cards." all of the episodes out at once it punishes people who don't binge watch. 16% of netflix subscribers watched the first episode now compare that to last season when only 2% clicked to watch in its opening weekend. as people started watching last week they started tweeting what they were watching or posting on facebook or just talking about it at the office with other people who had seen it in voices loud enough to spoil important plot twists for the other people who hadn't seen it yet. this is the nature of the world we live in. the president said he would be watching. it's not clear it's him because the tweet doesn't include the initials at the end that are to
signify tweets by president obama. season two starts with a bang. working on episode three. holy jeez they're not messing around this season. wow. and that was only the first episode. the boy band 98 degrees fame. and those are the tweets that don't give away anything. now i admit i have an addictive personality. i am take in five episodes of a show at a time like it's nothing. not everyone wants to do this. maybe they just wanted to hold off and savor each episode one by one. what about them? in this new age, no matter how much they might try to avoid
them. also if netflix binge watching is the wave of the future, it's in doubt. they struck down something called net neutrality, an open internet, rules that prohibited internet service providers from restricting access to legal web content. at 8:00 p.m. a third of all internet traffic is devoted to watching netflix. one-third. they could make netflix run slower than it does right now to muck up the works unless you, a netflix worker, pay a fee to stream or download from the website. they say nothing will change as a result of this ruling and i should point out probably one of the biggest companies, comcast, is the parent company of this network. there is theoretically nothing to stop them from doing whatever
they want. whether it's sustainable or the shows we're bingeing on are worth watching to begin with. the what is it about "house of cards" specifically that makes so many people want to binge? i have my own thoughts about it. more on that in a minute. to try to do all of this without giving away any spoilers or give you plenty of advance warning before giving anything away, we'll do that joined by cory stall, you may recognize him as congressman peter russo from "house of cards" season one. and, well, based on season one. you may or may not the know he was a character. season two we'll assume you haven't seen. victoria defrancesco soto said it was like a good telenova without the good eye makeup.
how the real congress works so how many here -- i finished last night. i stayed up and finished season two. how many have seen all of season two? >> i finished thursday. >> i finished yesterday. >> i haven't started but i have a 9-month old. that's my excuse. i would have binged a little bit. >> and how about cory? >> i know how long it takes to make one episode so i like to savor it. >> you feel it's disrespectful. >> people can watch it at their own pace. it's really compelling. >> we really have to stipulate that if you've seen season one, we'll try not to give away season two. did you know when you left the show after season one what would happen in season two?
did you know are where the story was going? >> all i knew is what happens in the first episode of the second season. i was very careful mott to ask any of my castmates who went on with the series anything that happened because i wanted to be surprised. >> what do you make of the phenomenon of "house of cards" in general? is it something only washington gets excited about because it's washington or does it have broader appeal? >> washington gets excited about washington shows. it's flattering to us. we're in a moment when washington shows generally are huge. you have skgs scandal," "homeland" and a whole concentration of political shows. i think "house of cards" goes further. it's certainly in a if he can and neck race with "scandal."
the dark, cynical portrait of washington. i think it plays into ang zis and frustrations people outside of the capital have about politics. frank underwood is this nightmare of the clinton years. they are the sort of scheming -- >> what republicans and conservatives said. >> and i think we've seen scandals bubbling up as we move towards the election. the underwoods play into that narrative or play off of that narrative. it was real headlines for 20 years. >> what do you make of this, somebody who lives and breathes capitol hill politics every day? when you watch a show like this, are you able to sit back and
enjoy, it's good entertainment, or say that would never happen? >> it's a combination of two. >> everything is better with a glass or two of whiskey. >> kevin spacey's character as the puppet mast er and everybody's including cory's character and the president on the show are puppets whose strings are being pulled. that's not how things work. if you plan four or five steps ahead like a chess player, it always blows back in your face. how did you approach trying to make this show plausible? was that a concern of yours that you be plausible, that the plot be plausible? >> i see a congressman who
happens to be an addict but an addict who happens to be a congressman. i think for him his political career was a source of something to fill that void, that incredible lack of self-esteem that he has. i it research into politics, a lot more into addiction. a way for me to get into that. >> when you finish the role on the show, when you looked at that character, was that a character you would have voted for in an election? would you have voted for peter russo for congress? >> certainly not after his interview. hopefully this will be better than that. if he was the democrat and passed the primary, i would have voted for him.
>> okay. victoria, you teach political science. do you want your students to see this representation of washington? >> i am going to put this into my class structure. it's something to get them excited but using it as a teaching tool this is what happens, this is something realistic what would happen in congress, the party structure, fund-raising, but then, you know what? this is unbelievable, this doesn't happen. it's a great hook for getting people interested. >> or are you setting them up for disappointment? and then the majority whip takes the congressman of pennsylvania and stuffs him into a car. steny hoyer's real every day life. >> a real life congressman would do. >> it's sex iier. >> i suppose so. what the show trace to do and what the writers try to do is paint a picture of washington that at least addresses the
actual obstacles and realities they have to face. there's a great sequence of things that happen in the senate in season three, the new season. i will not give anything away. based on a complicated set of rules that someone who object 0 sesively covers this stuff is real and plausible. not likely but plausible. and the congressmen on the show do have to deal with pressure from constituents, do have to deal with donors, with the press. it goes back to what i was saying earlier. they don't have time to think five steps ahead. they are trying to keep their heads above the water. >> i will talk to you about the season two thing off the air. the next segment, what "house of cards" and what the netflix model means for the future of television. it's kind of transformed things. i mean, look at it. so indulgent. did i tell you i am on the... [ both ] chicken pot pie diet! me too! [ male announcer ] so indulgent, you'll never believe they're light. 100-calorie progresso light soups.
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bill passed. you failed on your promise. i'm not going to fail on mine. however you need to fix it, you figure it out. oth otherwise i go public. >> you need to cool down and think very carefully about what you just said. >> a scene between congressman russo and underwood on last season's "house of cards." you were making a point in the break i thought was interesting about the show and the story of francis underwood is not about anything ideological. it really is about the raw pursuit of power and climbing the ladder. >> and i think one of the things that's strange about that is that ideology is tremendously powerful in washington and it causes people to behave in irrational ways instead of this sort of constant calculating chess move vision of politics that the show puts on. and even people who aren't ideological, who aren't emotional about the issues still recognize that ideology is a
powerful tool that this language and the ability to build narratives are astonishingly useful and i find it very hard to understand why frank underwood wants to be president and even if he wants to be president and he's this master manipulator why he's so resistant to ideology simply as a tool that would be useful to him. >> and the reality politicians are constrained by ideology so many times. they want to make the chess moves but they know it will offend the base. cory, you were saying off the air, that maybe a little more dramatic, though, focusing more on the pursuit of power from the standpoint of drama. >> yeah, absolutely. in richard iii or henry v if you're trying to study the battle maybe reading henry v would be helpful but it wouldn't tell you exactly what happened during that battle. but what was interesting, what's
worth telling as a story are the interpersonal power struggles. >> machiavellian. there's a kifrdifference. some folks are very ideological but there are some who aren't. i think there's a variety in our political pool. people like frank underwood who don't care that much about ideology, it's about the power, and there are those who do care very much. i don't think it's irrational. it depends where you watch it from. from the home district, a crazy tea partier, rational when you're up for re-election. >> it is mostly used by -- i would put it this way, the politicians who rise to the top tend not to be ideological themselves but know how to ex plate it and manipulate it and use it to their advantage. >> the story and narratives. frank underwood never really speaks to the public. he always operates in these closed rooms and we end up having, you know, part of the story and part of what makes "house of cards" interesting, frank underwood has little inner
life, very little sense of who he is, he's sort of shoved down a lot. his individuality will in his trip back to college are these himself that he's sort of systemically killed. but he doesn't tell stories about himself to the public either. we don't see who he's inventing himself to be. >> also, the room he has to maneuver, the leeway he has to maneuver behind the scenes, to make things happen. we keep talking about this chess analogy, that part, i struggle with. and given the realities and ideology, and so many other factors in washington. we have just a couple minutes left, but i want to talk, too want just which idea of binge watching this show and these shows in general. it came out valentine's day. i tried my best to avoid spoilers. i finished a 13-episode season last night. a lot of people do sort of the same thing. and this seems to be on the rise. you think back to these old shows, watching a sitcom, you know, like "cheers." didn't matter where in the
season you started watching "cheers," you could miss the ten supposed and pick up the 11th and have a good half an hour of laughs or whatever. is netflix and is this show just changing what we expect from television? do we now expect, basically, a long movie that's going to play out over a season? and we don't really want these individual knockoff episodes anymore? >> i think that netflix is continuing on a tradition that hbo really sort of kicked off with the "the sopranos," where tv shows now tell these very long arc narratives. the difference is that our serial storytelling used to be paced out for us. if you think back to dickens or alexander dumas, there's a long tradition of long arc serial storytelling, where, you know, each installment of the story, both advances a long arc plot and our understanding of the characters, while giving us something exciting. netflix has just compressed that process in a way, you know, there's been a long-running conversation about whether television has become more novelistic. i think a lot of that conversation centers on whether "the wire" is the great american
novel. netflix is actually delivering television to us like a novel. here are all of the chapters simultaneously. and i think that is interesting. you know, i -- >> and cory, you talked about, sort of not wanting to binge watch it, because you know the sort of intricate work that goes into each one of these episodes. is it more satisfying for you as an actor to be part of a show that really is more novelistic, it's telling a story that spans an entire season as opposed to just like, you know, knockoff episodes that can be watched in any order. >> yeah, definitely, definitely. and you know, what was unique about my experience with this role was, you know, the arc that was, you know, encapsulated by one season. and sort of knowing where we were going from the beginning, which is hard to do on network tv, where you're getting, you know, ratings and the plot can often be determined by what the
ratings are. we were isolated from that and insulated. >> and did you know, from the beginning, where it was going to end up for your character in season one, or did you find out episode to episode? >> yeah, yeah. that was part of the first meeting with david fincher. it would have been a disappointing moment to open the script -- >> to find out, this is where it all ends for me. >> you ended up here today, so it wasn't all a terrible place. quick final thoughts with us. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] imagine this cute blob is metamucil. and this park is the inside of your body. see, the special psyllium fiber in metamucil actually gels.
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see, the special psyllium fiber in metamucil actually gels to trap some carbs to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. metamucil. 3 amazing benefits in 1 super fiber. this morning, my question. do rich people already have more votes? plus, the mother of slain teen jordan davis on turning grief into activism. and the daughter of malcolm x. tells us about the young malcolm little. but first, the debate over ten ten president obama continues to wage against the machine. good morning. i'm joy reid in for melissa harris-per harris-perry. okay. let's play a game of what if. say you were given a big,